Twitter Q&A with Miss Scarlet & The Duke creator Rachael New

Concluding their rewatch of S1 of Miss Scarlet & The Duke, SanditonSisterhood hosted a Twitter Q&A with the show’s creator, head writer and show runner Rachael New. We’ve collected all questions and answers for those not on Twitter and to prevent them from getting lost.

@Scarleteers: 30°C in Belgrade today 🥵 How are you keeping cool? 🧊 Free ice-cream for the actors? 🍦 😋

Yes it’s hot here. Very hot. But unlike our brave cast who will be wearing 19th century costumes in the heat, I get to wear shorts and sandals. And yes ice cream most definitely helps. Pistachio and Choc Chip does the trick.

@AndrewGowerF4ns: Can you tease a little about our dear Rupert’s storyline in S2? 🙏🙏🙏 Just 3 words?
We cannot wait to see more of @TheAndrewGower as Eliza’s best friend!

Hi Isabel. We love Rupert but the talented Andrew Gower is in great demand and sadly we just couldn’t get his and our schedules to work. But we have some amazing new characters and cast. It’s going to be a cracking season so watch this space! (sorry that was more than 3 words!)

@outlanderfan_nl: Can you share a bts sneak peek from S2 since you are now filming S2?

I would love to and I certainly will once we’re up and running. In fact myself and our uber talented director @moviegoblin will be regularly sharing lots of lovely bts pics and tweets and on Instagram too so please feel free to follow me over there on @rachjnew19

Rupert Parker (Andrew Gower)

@LynnyBright: Is there a scene you wrote that turned out better then you imagined on screen?

Hello Lynny. There are so many. The one that comes to mind is when Duke is teaching Eliza how to boil an egg in the finale of Season 1. Who knew boiling an egg could be that seductive!

@izzy907: How does one train to become a writer?

There are so many ways, but if someone asks me advice on how to become a writer my number one tip would be practice your craft. The more you write, the better you get and that’s when you write a spec script and secure an agent. So write, write, write!

@finestseaside: Are any of the cases inspired by true stories? Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions.

Myself and my writing partner Ben Edwards do a lot of research when we are plotting out the stories. The actual cases are all made up but the historical context that acts as a backdrop is generally true to the period.

@megan_koerber: Hi Rachael! Do you keep up with fan theories, fanfiction or any of the headcanon #Scarleteers come up with? If so, any hints as to what fans may have gotten right in regards to future seasons?

Hi Megan, I’m a bit of a technophobe. You’re more likely find me with my head in a book than on internet. But through my teenage children I’m very aware of the online love there is for the show & the idea that anyone takes time to write fanfiction about it is lovely!

The Duke (Stuart Martin) and Eliza (Kate Phillips)

@outlanderfan_nl: Did you start writing S1 with the idea of a S2 in mind?

Great question. In one word, yes. You always have the future of your characters in your mind. I love thinking about what’s in store for Eliza, Duke, Moses, Ivy and the rest. I can’t wait to share it with you all when you finally get to watch season 2

@VicsTiara: Will S2 pick up right where we left off in S1 or will there be a time jump? Thanks!!!

There’s a time jump of a couple of months.

@madame_mim: I honestly don’t really have a question. I enjoyed your series very much and am happy that it will continue. Well, maybe one question: Is there a possibility that there will be more after Season 2?

That’s lovely to hear. Yes there will be more.

@LynnyBright: Has it been good to have so much time to write season 2 or have you been as desperate to film it as we are to watch it?

It’s been wonderful for Ben & I to have the space to actually write all the scripts before shooting. That doesn’t happen often. Covid did delay things somewhat and that was a little frustrating. I’m not the most patient of people, a flaw that I channel into my heroine

@FinestSeaside: Do you hope viewers will view Eliza as a feminist?

I do. Eliza is a woman who wants financial independence, to pay her own bills and make her own decisions. Unfortunately it’s the 19th century and a male dominated society, so she has to work out the most productive way to operate within the limits of the time. But I think these constraints only make her an even smarter operator.

On set: Eliza Scarlet

@VicsTiara: My carpe diem question: Any chance Eliza & William will kiss in S2?

Haha! I thought this question might pop up. You’ll just have to wait and see…

@katesanditon: What is your favorite scene in season 1? Thank you so much for joining us

I think it has to be in ep 4 when Duke exits the city mortuary and wants to get rid of Eliza for fear that the journalist inside will be more interested in her than him. It makes me laugh every time. Kate Phillips & @stueymartin86 are such a joy to watch & work with.

@FinestSeaside: In contrast to Jane Austen’s “inside job” approach to commenting on English society, you’ve put together quite the band of outliers across various dimensions. What motivated you to include such a range of characters?

A truly watchable character is one you can relate to. You don’t have to like them but if you can understand their choices and identify with them, you often find yourself cheering them on. I think most of us at some point in life have felt like an outsider, I certainly have, and relating to these characters is what’s made the show so successful.

@sararipple: I am fascinated by Moses. His character is so dark and mysterious, but deep down has a good heart. Was he always supposed to be a mysterious character throughout his storyline? It seems like Eliza sees through Moses tough dark walls. Talk about their character arcs.

I love writing the character of Moses and Ansu Kabia who plays him is such a lovely, talented man. When I was a girl I would watch all the old spaghetti westerns with my dad and brothers, my favourite was “The Outlaw Josey Wales”. So I very much had that type of character in mind when I created Moses.
He’s got some cracking storylines in Season 2!

On set: Moses (Ansu Kabia) and DS Frank Jenkins (Danny Midwinter)

@FinestSeaside: The “hallucinated” conversations between Eliza and Mr. Scarlet are both touching & amusing. (How) do they link to her mourning and will they continue in S.2?

In season 1 Eliza wasn’t ready to say goodbye to her father. His death was unexpected and sudden, so she is hit with the full force of grief. Talking to him helped her work through that grief and once she solved the case of who killed him she found closure. So Henry Scarlet finally rests in peace and in creative terms his story came to end, so he won’t be appearing in Season 2.

@megan_koerber: Both Stuart and Kate are PERFECT in their roles and I think I remember you saying they were your first choices. What made you want to choose each of them?

They are both warm, funny, incredibly talented people and they bring that sparkle to the screen. Myself, Ben and the team of execs were always determined to have a happy show with a real team ethos. Kate and Stuart are hugely collaborative so they fitted right in.

@izzie907: On a scale from 10 to 10, how awesome is Mr Moses / Ansu Kabia? 😁

Haha! 11.

@NunyaB127: The breakout star for S1 had to be the Duke’s glorious beard. Did you have that look planned out from the beginning? Also, do you need a beard wrangler for S2? Thanks!

A “beard wrangler”? What a genius idea! Yes I had a very clear picture of what I wanted Duke to look like. Stuart would send me photos of how the beard was coming on. I banned all razors from his house.

On set: Stuart Martin and Rachael New

@tammyr72: The lighting in the series is quite dark til we get to episode 6 then it becomes lighter brighter, is this because Eliza and William start to trust one another? Thank you for joining us, excited for season 2 of Miss Scarlet and The Duke 🥰

Yes, they have been on a journey together. That little bit of lightness is the balance they finally found. But that’s not to say there won’t still be plenty of that lovely bickering banter to come. Duke is a 19th century man. He will never agree with a woman having a job as a private detective and that discord between them is what makes the show sizzle and fizz.

@sheppardster: In an interview you mentioned that you knew you wanted Kate & Stuart for Eliza & William from the start. I’d love to know which pivotal role you saw each of them in that made them stand out to you?

Kate it was ”The Crown” and Stuart “Babylon”. They are the type of actors that you instantly engage with. They’ve just got that special something.

@scarleteers: From #Scarleteer Trina: Ha, just thought of a question for #askRachael. What threat did Eliza use with Mr. Potts in Cell 99 that he refused to repeat to William? I’d love to know…

Hi Trina, great question. The answer is it was so unspeakable that it cannot be repeated!

That was fun! I hope you love season 2 as much as we did writing and making it. I will keep you posted on all the comings and goings on the Scarlet set. Until then thank you for having me!

ETA (9 August 2021):

In a follow up question, Rachael New confirmed that neither Andrew Gower nor Matthew Malone (who plays PC Clarence Honeychurch) will be returning to the show “in the foreseeable future”.